Tavarua Island, Fiji (Monday, May 22, 2000). The top 45 rated surfers in the world – plusthree wildcard entrants – were officially welcomed today by Fijian chiefs on Tavarua Island, the setting for this year’s Quiksilver Pro Fiji 2000. With the event scheduled to begin tomorrow morning and perfect 8-10 ft conditions already present, this afternoon’s ceremony saw traditional Kava drinking, as well as a blessing offered to competitors.
Ratu Kini Vosilagi, chief of all Western Fiji, gave the following address: “We welcome you with all our hearts and it’s been an honour and a privilege to be here with you and see what you are going to do.”
Six-time world champion and winner of the Gotcha Pro Tahiti last week, Kelly Slater (USA), heads the list of invited wildcards into the event along with two-time world champion Tom Carroll (Aus). Local Fijian surfer Wonga Tavarua, who received a wildcard spot last year, secured his place in the main event when he took out the Quiksilver Pro trials a few days ago in excellent 6-8 ft conditions at Cloudbreak.
Great Britain’s Russell Winter is still hospitalized with blood poising which he developed while in Tahiti, and has been replaced by Quiksilver-sponsored Troy Brooks (Aus).
Tavarua Island and the Quiksilver Fiji Pro both remain unaffected by the political upheavals that have erupted in the country’s capital, Suva, in recent days.
Official Quiksilver Pro Fiji First Round Match-ups
Heat 1: S Dorian (Haw) vs. G Emslie (SAfr) vs. K Malloy (USA)
Heat 2: C Lopez (USA) vs. S Powell (Aus) vs. T Prestage (Aus)
Heat 3: L Egan (Aus) vs. CJ Hobgood (USA) vs. M Hoy (Aus)
Heat 4: F Padaratz (Brz) vs. T Curran (USA) vs. N Padaratz (Brz)
Heat 5: N Webster (Aus) vs. Y Sodre (Brz) vs. K Slater (USA)
Heat 6: M Campbell (Aus) vs. A Daltro (Brz) vs. T Martin (Aus)
Heat 7: J Paterson (Aus) vs. S Lopez (USA) vs. R Dornelles (Brz)
Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw) vs. B Emerton (Aus) vs. W Tavarua (Fiji)
Heat 9: T Burrow (Aus) vs. D Hobgood (USA) vs. T Carroll (Aus)
Heat 10: M Occhilupo (Aus) vs. G Herdy (Brz) vs. T Brooks (Aus)
Heat 11: L Hitchings (Aus) vs. S Sutton (Haw) vs. R Williams (Haw)
Heat 12: S Beschen (USA) vs. G Ringrose (Aus) vs. P Canning (SAfr)
Heat 13: V Ribas (Brz) vs. R Machado (USA) vs. F Gouveia (Brz)
Heat 14: M Lowe (Aus) vs. R Rocha (Brz) vs. D Wills (Aus)
Heat 15: P Rosa (Brz) vs. R Lovett (Aus) vs. K Robb (Haw)
Heat 16: D Hardman (Aus) vs. B Bourgeois (USA) vs. T Knox (USA)